When I’m away I always write travel journals.  Sometimes I jot down a couple of notes every now and then, but if I have the time I love to  I’ll sit down and write an essay about my day.

I wasn’t planning on posting my travel journal, but I found other people’s posts about their Maui experiences helpful for planning my own trip.  And a little less censored than what you find in a guidebook.

We planned on spending the first half our our trip backpacking and sleeping on the beach while exploring the island, then spending the next half in a condo in Kahana that we had pre-arranged.  Purposely, we didn’t make plans for the first part of the vacation.  It makes things more adventurous that way and we didn’t want to be constrained to a town we decided to make reservations in.

We made it through the first unplanned day. After flying in at 10 pm last night we caught a cab to Paia where we spent the night at the Nalu Kai Lodge.  We had two single beds and a washroom crammed into one 10 by 12 room for $140/night.  Reality check on how expensive Hawaii is.

There was a torrential downpour the next morning, I have never seen rain come down so hard.  Once it lightened up we walked around the town, which is cute and surfy, lined with yoga studios, surf shops, cafes and yoga stores. The grocery store we went to was a huge natural health food store.  It was a dark hole-in-the-wall, but inside it stretched two blocks back by one block across, with every aisle full of natural whole food.  They also had a built in vitamin shop two aisles wide and loaded with more all-natural products than I’ve ever seen.

We decided to find a bigger town with more variety for beach-sleeping, so we caught a bus from Paia to Kapalui, to Malaea, then up to Lahaina.  Lahaina was full of tourists, like Banff Avenue on in the summer – minus all the Asians. None of them expected to see backpackers and they didn’t want to move over, so we walked up the street.  The closest beach in Lahaina was a few blocks North of the town and we walked up there with some beers and food.  The beach was just a thin strip of sand and there was a reef 100 meters from shore, so the water flat and a bit murky.  I’d been told that Kaanapali was a good beach, and you could see the hotels on it from Baby Beach.  Gill and I tried walking up there, but 1/4 of the way there we got directions for the bus.

The bus dropped us at Whalers Village – an outdoor mall on the beach full of designer boutique stores and beachfront restaurants.  The beach was gorgeous, it was so good to be on a beach that people go to Hawaii for.  After a day of being lost and not knowing where we were going it was literally heaven.

Kanapaali beach was dead after sunset, with all the bars and restaurants completely packed.  We wandered up past the point to a section in front of the Marriott and set up our two Mexican blankets.  Gill slept on and off between 8:30 and 12; I passed out sometime around midnight and only woke up a couple of times before the security guard moved us along at 4:30.

I was happy enough to have made it through the night without being moved until morning, but we found a hotel in Kihei and decided we’d stay in an actual room for a few nights.  The backpacks were getting annoying by then too because we couldn’t shop or snorkel unless we just left them out. And they were heavy.
Also, backpacking in sandals is hard on the feet…



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